Jeffrey Markiewicz On October 26, 2007 at 8:49 am

The summer is usually associated with a dry spell for games but this summer we finally got rain. This relatively unknown action adventure came out in demo form on Xbox Live a couple weeks prior to release and wetted everyone’s chops until the full version came out.

The game begins as your minions are waking you by rubbing your eyes with acid. Once you’re awake they title you the overlord of the lands. You are given a ruined tower that has been pillaged and tasked with recovering the stolen tower objects. Your power is directly correlated with the reconstruction of your tower so as you gain more objects, you get more abilities. These abilities may be in the form of new spells, money, being able to forge new items, new types of minions, or even being able to control more minions.

The game is fairly open, allowing you to take on multiple quests and work on them simultaneously and it is always straightforward enough to keep you on task. Even though the game is open, it’s hard to get lost since it does a good job of showing you where you need to go. Unfortunately other than beginning synopsis, the main storyline is pretty much nonexistent. You’re given just enough reason to do things, nothing more. So much so that the last portion of the game feels like it comes out of nowhere. The comedic atmosphere and gameplay makes up somewhat for this deficiency and keeps you looking forward to what you’ll be doing and laughing at next.

The major way you’ll be fighting in this game is through your minions. You start the game being able to control only a couple and by the end you’ll be commanding a large hoarde. They are effortlessly controlled via the right thumbstick. These minions are full of personality that’ll keep you entertained throughout the game. They will say funny things and even drink beer if you take them to the tavern! They’re like Gollum from Lord of the Rings, but instead of there being only being one; you’ll have dozens. At the onset of the game, you’ll only have access to the brown minions but as you obtain other hives, you’ll gain access to red, green, and blue minions. Once you have their hive, you will be able to call them up from holes in the ground if you have orbs. You gain these coloured orbs by killing enemies and peaceful sheep. Each type of minion has a unique characteristic and it’s up to you to choose how to use them. Browns are the best fighters, Reds can throw fireballs, Greens can ambush enemies by jumping on their back, and Blues can swim in water and revive minions but are extremely weak. Sadly as the game goes on, the flaws in the minions become more and more apparent. To bring objects back to your tower, you have to have your minions carry it to a portal. The problem here is that the minions will correctly carry the object back to the portal without your supervision but they can’t for the life of them find their way back! It’s annoying when have to decide whether you want to continue pushing forward or backtrack for a couple minutes to get a full set of minions. Another example is at one part you have to use them to control fire floor switches while your other minions carry an object back to the portal so being careful, I selected just one minion to pull the switch. Well the minion freaked out and pulled the switch about a thousand times and toasted my minions. You’ll encounter several annoyances like these throughout the game but none of them are game breaking. Overall the minions are great fun but are imperfect.

In addition to your minions, you yourself can join the fight. You will have the option between using a sword, ax, or a mace. The only real differences between these are the swing speed and damage dealt. The problem here is that fighting is a one-button mash fest that gets old quick because there is no depth whatsoever. To support your fighting efforts, you get a myriad of spells as you go through the game. You will get the standard fireball spells, as well as get some that will make your minions more aggressive or stronger. While the fireball spells are useful in a couple situations, most of the spells will largely go unused because the game is easy enough you won’t need the extra edge in battle.

To improve your ability to fight, you can forge weapons and armour using money and minions. The minions change the stats of the piece. Some may add to its defense; others will increase your health or add a knockback effect. You can also obtain new forges to make better quality items. This feature adds some nice depth to the title but since the game if fairly easy, it can be simply skipped for the most part.

As the overlord you have a choice to make, do you want to be good or bad? You have a corruption meter that will keep track of this dichotomy. One would think this is an awesome feature like it is in Knight of the Old Republic but the meter just decides which spells you get so, it is relatively moot. Not to mention the choices are only sparsely littered throughout the game. It’s not worth another replay since it doesn’t give you enough replay value.

Overall this game broke the summer drought. It offers some unique and fun gameplay with the ability to control the minions but they can become an annoyance at times. Fighting with your character is boring because it offers no variation at all and the spells go relatively unused. It attempts offers some extra depth via the forge and corruption meter and succeeds on some level but makes you wish they were more developed. The atmosphere and gameplay are good but the story is not really there. Overall the game is flawed but what’s more important is that the game is fun. My play through clocked in at over 22 hours, making it over double the average for single player games these days and the entire time I had a great time! But because of the flaws, it’s hard to recommend this game at full price but if you find it in the bargain bin, I highly suggest you pick it up!


The minions are a riot to play with and the quests are fun.


It won’t win awards but the graphics are nice, especially considering how many characters will be on the screen at once at times.


The sound effects and music are general fare but the game is filled with humourous voice acting throughout, especially from the minions.


The game is fun. The game is long. It may be flawed but you won’t be disappointed.

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